“Nobody has the intention of building a wall!” Protested angered Walter Ulbricht during a press conference on June 15, 1961. None of those present had asked him because none of them supposed that this was even possible. The lapsus linguae of the first secretary of the SED was not taken seriously because, who in his right mind could even conceive the idea of enclosing an entire city with two million people inside?
We harbor a crippling dislike for the abstract. One day in December 2003, when Saddam Hussein was captured, Bloomberg News flashed the following headline at 13:01: u.s. TREASURIES RISE; HUSSEIN CAPTURE MAY NOT CURB TERRORISM.
Whenever there is a market move, the news media feel obligated to give the “reason.” Half an hour later, they had to issue a new headline. As these U.S. Treasury bonds fell in price (they fluctuate all day long, so there was nothing special about that), Bloomberg News had a new reason for the fall: Saddam’s capture (the same Saddam). At 13:31 they issued the next bulletin: u.s. TREASURIES FALL; HUSSEIN CAPTURE BOOSTS ALLURE OF RISKY ASSETS.
Being Macron a man of honor, or something similar, forced military service will be soon reestablished in France. Well, if a few weeks ago I was here explaining the basics of Colonialism, now it’s turn for Conscription, which turns out to be something very similar.
Continuar leyendo “The Economics of Conscription”
The inventions of paper and printing gave enterprising governments, always looking for new sources of revenue, an “Open Sesame” to previously unimagined sources of wealth. The kings had long since granted to themselves the monopoly of minting coins in their kingdoms, calling such a monopoly crucial to their “sovereignty,” and then charging high seigniorage prices for coining gold or silver bullion. But this was piddling, and occasional debasements were not fast enough for the kings’ insatiable need for revenue. But if the kings could obtain a monopoly right to print paper tickets, and call them the equivalent of gold coins, then there was an unlimited potential for acquiring wealth. In short, if the king could become a legalized monopoly counterfeiter, and simply issue “gold coins” by printing paper tickets with the same names on them, the king could inflate the money supply indefinitely and pay for his unlimited needs.
It’s still widely accepted that having Colonies was a main source of wealth and welfare for the former Empire. This misleading idea, which comes from marxist tradition, is somehow still alive when it’s applied to modern geopolitics, despite the fact that the idea that economic progress was due to colonies (imperialism, colonialism) seems to have very little foundation.
Otro 20 de Diciembre implica otro feliz año teniendo al blog de cumpleaños. Dos son, y he aquí el resumen.
The transition from the negative conception of justice as defined by rules of individual conduct to a ‘positive‘ conception which makes it a duty of ‘society’ to see that individuals have particular things, is often effected by stressing the rights of the individual. It seems that among the younger generation the welfare institutions into which they have been born have engendered a feeling that they have a claim in justice on ‘society’ for the provision of particular things which it is the duty of that society to provide. However strong this feeling may be, its existence does not prove that the claim has anything to do with justice, or that such claims can be satisfied in a free society. Continuar leyendo “Justice and Individual Rights”